Florida Identity Theft Laws

Our personal identifying information is of increasing value these days, which makes the prevalence of identity theft that much more frightening. A person commits the most basic form of identity theft when he/she assumes the identity of another person by presenting himself or herself as that other person for financial gain.

Identity Theft Laws in Florida

Assuming someone else's "personal identifying information" may include a person's name, address, telephone number, date of birth, driver's license number, social security number, etc. In Florida, if public records are used to commit identity theft, the offense is reclassified to next higher degree.

The following chart has some Florida identity theft law specifics and where to go if you need an attorney.

Code Section

§817.568, 569

Classification of Crime/Penalties

2nd degree felony; restitution to victim may be ordered, including attorney's fees, Anyone who uses someone else’s personal identifying information to obtain property or anything of value worth more than $5,000 commits a second-degree felony.

Who May Prosecute

Any prosecuting attorney

Exemptions to Identity Theft Laws

-

Civil Lawsuit Allowed?

Civil action allowed

Civil Remedies Available

-

Misc.

If public records used to commit offense, the offense is reclassified to next higher degree

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Here are some basic tips to help protect yourself against identity theft:

  • Make your passwords hard to guess by using numbers, capital and lower case letters, and even symbols, and change them frequently. It is best not to write them down or leave them on a personal computer, so using easy to remember acronyms or systems is a good idea.
  • Definitely don't use the same password for all your accounts.
  • Always be diligent when reading your credit card statements, bank account statements, and any government statements to check for irregular activity.
  • Use only your first and middle initials and last name on preprinted checks and consider having them routed to a post office box.
  • Avoid stand-alone ATMs and only use those ATMs affiliated with a bank or attached to a building surface.
  • Shred all your bills and credit card offers before throwing them away.
  • Beware of telemarketers asking for your social security number, and be wary of giving your personal information over the phone.
  • Monitor your credit report and any posted credit activity.

FindLaw’s consumer protection section can provide more information on protecting you from scams, identity theft, or businesses engaging in unfair trade practices.

Florida Identity Theft Laws: Related Resources

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